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This article will discuss financial and operational reporting options for Professional Services organizations using Microsoft Dynamics SL, so you can invest in the right software for your team.

In the modern business culture, perhaps especially for Professional Services organizations, a powerful, user friendly report writer is essential to staying competitive in your sector, navigating the ebbs and flows of the economy through smarter decision-making, so you’re continuing to evolve as a business and a brand.  In this article, I’ll lay out some of your options for today’s quality financial and operational reporting solutions, zooming in on features and functionalities, so you can make the best investment to expand your Microsoft Dynamics SL analytics as a Professional Services organization.
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In this article, today’s dashboard solutions for Microsoft Dynamics SL will take center stage for Professional Services organizations hoping to expand their analytics.

You can call them dashboards or data visualizations, charts, graphs, or scorecards, but it doesn’t matter – they’re nearly ubiquitous.  And that is because if you do a quick search on the internet about the top software priorities, specifically in the BI realm, dashboards are #1 for executives.  Because business is moving faster than ever (or so it seems), analytics that are quickly accessible and easily digestible is essential.  Dashboards deliver just that: graphs, charts, and scorecards illustrate trajectories, victories, and challenges through key performance indicators (KPIs) and your information to effectively keep a project, a department, or the whole organization on track.
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This article will take a deep look at today’s best financial consolidation tools for Microsoft Dynamics SL users, focusing specifically on must-have features and functionalities.

Plenty of Microsoft Dynamics SL customers are overseeing financial consolidations for a parent company of multiple subsidiaries.  Aggregating company information from more than one legal business unit, particularly if there are diverse monies involved, can be difficult without a robust financial reporting and consolidations solution.  Data continues to grow in amount and significance to decision-making for the future of the business, so it makes sense that executive teams are seeking an easy-to-use software for the regular responsibility of data consolidation into a unified set of financial statements.  If it’s your responsibility to consolidate subsidiary information with Dynamics SL, this article will explore your options for easy-to-use, modern, and powerful solutions.
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This article will explore the intricacies of project accounting reports for Microsoft Dynamics SL customers, in the context of shopping for the right reporting tool to meet your team’s business needs.

Project accounting is different from standard accounting in its approach to how you are tracking financials.  In traditional accounting, you are working to evaluate comprehensive development of an organization.  With project accounting, you are analyzing the progress of a specific project.  The project accounting software marketplace is offering more and more advanced functionality for industries and particular organizations that are charged with monitoring the productivity and financial health of a project, especially in comparison with the budget.  This article will explore project accounting for Microsoft Dynamics SL, in the context of key considerations when searching for the right tool to assist in your reporting and analysis of projects.
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This article will discuss your financial reporting options, so you can have a head start in picking the best report writer that enhances your Dynamics SL experience for you and your team.

A modern, dynamic financial report writer is nearly a necessity for any organization that intends to stay competitive in the marketplace, navigating economic shifts and developing their brand by making data-driven decisions.  This article will discuss financial reporting solutions, with a focus on their features and functionalities, so you can have a head start in finding the right report writer for your Microsoft Dynamics SL experience.

Third party financial reporting solutions grab company financials from your accounting system or other data sources, whether that is directly from Microsoft Dynamics SL with a live integration or from an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a data warehouse.  Like most enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, Dynamics SL has its own reporting function and most SL customers seem to be using Crystal Reports, although a lot of companies are relying on independent software vendor (ISV) report writers because of their power and their flexibility that the built-in tools don’t always offer.  With many third party software, you can craft and reuse report templates that are customized to meet your data analysis needs and answer decision-makers’ questions about trends and trajectories of your company for future plans.  In my experience, it appears that a lot of companies stick with pieces of the Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) stack or “free” products when moving beyond the built-in Report Writer, but financial reporting is too important these days to default to any certain product just because everyone else usually does.  You should assess the importance of data source integration options, Excel, web, and/or proprietary platforms, and how easy the product is to use, among other aspects.

How you integrate your company data should be at the top of your list to evaluate when investing in a financial reporting tool for SL.  You need to consider which method will best fit your team’s plans for the solution, whether you go live from Dynamics SL or a higher performance integration, pulling information from a data store.  With a live integration, you get up-to-the-minute data analysis right from SL.  And you won’t have to ensure that company data has recently been replicated to a database to get real time reporting.

A data store is its own investment – whether you go with an OLAP cube, data mart or data warehouse.  However, if your company has more Dynamics SL users and are planning to sometimes simultaneously run substantial data queries, it could slow down SL’s server.  Additionally, some data stores can hold different types of data all in one place.

In regard to ISV products for Dynamics SL, BI360 and F9 both can boast live integrations to Dynamics SL and other accounting systems, which is relatively unique in that most rely on data stores to generate reports.  Beyond data integration options, another vital element that should help you shape your decision involves the solution’s platform.

In the finance world, most professionals have been using Excel since undergrad days.  However, some third party manufacturers produce non-Excel reporting solutions, asserting that Excel is a pain in terms of linking and securely managing spreadsheets.  You have to assess how big of an Excel fan you and your team are and decide whether to implement a familiar Excel add-in product or go with a proprietary platform.  Both BI360 and F9 are Excel add-in ribbons that simply enhance the spreadsheet application by zooming in on security, accounting logic, and shared ownership.  With a modern Excel add-in, the familiarity is going to allow you to hit the ground running with formatting.  Excel may arguably be the standard bearer for data analysis and management, but the present and future seems to be solidly in the Cloud.

Cloud computing, or web-based technology, is hosted by a vendor and provides secure access to your data anywhere you can connect to the internet.  When it comes to financial reporting, reports can be generated and run online, inviting collaboration and offering drill-down abilities.  Generally speaking, pure 3rd party Cloud report writers tend to only pull company data from OLAP cubes or data warehouses, so live integrations are not an option, which is different than hybrid web-based, Excel-powered reporting tools.

Because of today’s global business world and the realities of around the clock operations, companies are working collaboratively around the world.  Web reporting is the answer to the business end user needing flexible access to their decision-informing data.  Adaptive Insights and Host Analytics are pure Cloud platforms, while a solution like BI360 is a hybrid Excel-powered, web platform, which means that you can design and run reports in Excel through the add-in ribbon functionality, in the web portal, or via a mobile application for smartphones and/or tablets.  The internet is popular for the flexibility and mobility, but it is important that it is still easy to use for you and your team to build a financial report, especially since you could be on the go.  If a “solution” is not business user friendly, you’re not going to be able to analyze data in the specific way your company needs, negating a true return on your investment.

Relatedly, the mobile device we are all living in has ensured that the future of financial reporting and other BI activities will begin happening more and more on our smartphones and tablets.  Functionalities on our touch screens are developing, but there are a few options to view and drill down into financial reports of your Dynamics SL data. Mobile BI currently offers reporting and dashboard functionality, and this area of BI will likely develop at a rapid pace.

The idea of access to our data with just the tap of our favorite touch screens can sound pretty enticing, perhaps especially to the road warrior.  However, since this is not a fully developed reporting tool (mainly due to the size of the screen and the newness of the product category), you should seek a financial reporting solution that meets your team’s specific needs before a mobile application is a make-or-break feature – at least, for now.   Our relationship with mobile devices, as a society, will ensure that these BI applications will continue to roll out, and in the meantime, the third-party vendors who already have them have a healthy head start.

There is plenty to consider when looking for the right financial reporting solution for your company, and this article was just to get you started.  Solver, Inc. is happy to answer questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use Excel, web, and mobile platforms for real-time or data warehouse integrated analysis and collaboration, with the option of email distribution of reports, as the best report writer for Dynamic SL.

Third party budgeting options for Dynamics SL are empowering CFOs and budget managers to effectively and dynamically plan for organizational and departmental growth, through secure and simple collaboration.  This article will discuss elements to consider when shopping for the best budgeting tool for your team.

I think it is safe to say that budgeting for a business is a task most would prefer to avoid.  Maybe this has something to do with the tedious nature of the tools available to budget managers.  Excel spreadsheets that are formatted into a budget might be okay for household planning, perhaps for a smaller company’s budget, due to the relatively small set of data, but growing corporations using Microsoft Dynamics SL are taking notice of the benefits of a third party budgeting solution to enhance their accounting and finance objectives.  Some of today’s more modern solutions streamline the process of budgeting by empowering contributors through secure collaboration.  Planning and managing profit and loss, employee budgets, project budgets, and other areas of a business is a necessary task so that corporation leaders can operate within their financial means, ensuring progress.
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As a Dynamics NAV user, you should know the functionalities and key features of modern financial reporting tools available on the market today so that you can select the best tool to enhance Dynamics NAV and meet your Business Intelligence needs by generating sophisticated analytical reports.

In today’s business culture, a powerful financial reporting solution is vital for any organization that is dedicated to developing into a competitive, well established corporation.  This article will explore the variety of options and available features, so that you can select the best financial reporting tool to meet your company or finance team’s needs and goals using Microsoft Dynamics NAV as the core data source.
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There are numerous Business Intelligence tools on the market to enhance Microsoft Dynamics SL.  This article will highlight key features and functions to consider when investing in a BI solution.

The Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics solutions market continued to grow in 2013, up 8% to a total of $14.4 billion from 2012, according to Gartner.  It is a relatively gradual growth, but the development is steady – and it makes sense.  More than ever, analytics are informing corporate decision-makers how to best move the company forward from real-time, monthly, quarterly, project-specific, beyond the General Ledger (GL) and fiscal perspectives.   The corporate world is shifting from IT-managed reporting, budgeting, and data storage to business user friendly, powerful BI software that takes Enterprise Resource Planning systems like Microsoft Dynamics SL, to new heights of analysis and planning.

Microsoft Dynamics SL is an established accounting product, around for a couple decades and acquired by Microsoft in the early 2000’s.  There are approximately 12,000 customers around the globe, and that number will continue to grow under the Microsoft umbrella.  That all said, Dynamics SL users do not have their heads in the sand.  The growing world of BI solutions offer a variety of options to make the most of Dynamics SL through data analysis and planning for the future.  Namely, the BI marketplace offers reporting, budgeting, dashboards, and data storage options.  This article will discuss the feature and functionality offerings for Dynamics SL users in the current landscape of BI solutions.
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